CINCINNATI — The management team at Tire Discounters, a regional dealership with 140-plus locations spread across six states, sees a time when the company will have a national footprint.
And franchising will play a major part in those growth plans.
Tire Discounters operates company-owned stores in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, but the Cincinnati-based firm has an aggressive plan to spread the brand across the country using a combination of company-owned and franchised locations.
Tire Discounters is offering franchise opportunities for those looking to get into the business as well as those already established but seeking a new brand and approach.
"A lot of people probably when they heard Tire Discounters was talking franchising were probably questioning, 'Well wait a second, these guys are successful; They are doing great things; Why in the hell would you franchise?'" CEO Jamie Ward told Tire Business in a recent interview.
"Well, I'm going to tell you right now the answer to that, because everyone is asking," he said, and the answer is simple. "We are a family-owned and -operated business that started with nothing.
"We started with nothing. We had to figure out how to win. We were going against the biggest, toughest competitors at that time on a shoestring budget."
Tire Discounters wants to share what it learned over the past four decades with other companies out there now facing the same challenges.
Chip Wood remains the sole owner of the company he founded in 1976 and has three adult children now involved with operations and leadership.
"Let's see if we can help. We have solutions," Mr. Ward said. "How can we put some of these independent dealers in a better position."
Tire Discounters is eager to share best practices, marketing and brand recognition as a family-owned operation with those in a similar position, but Mr. Ward said his firm will be selective in choosing partners to make sure there is a good fit.
"Our goal isn't to sell a bunch of tires to these franchisees and make a boatload of money on the supply chain. Our goal is actually to extend a lot of our buying power to these franchisees," Mr. Ward said.
Becoming a Tire Discounters franchisee provides not only the buying power of a larger organization, but also adds the muscle of a recognized brand name and access to the company's systems, including training, operations and customer service.
Mr. Ward also pointed to the firm's marketing approach as a key component that will help franchisees succeed.